More than 260 teaching professionals, representing 26 schools from across Malaysia attended the inaugural conference of the Association of International Malaysian Schools [AIMS], at the Australian International School on Saturday 5 March 2016.Veteran leader Ronald Stones OBE opened the conference with an inspirational talk about the journey that a teaching career can take you on. Energised colleagues dispersed to their chosen sessions. Throughout the day 18 sessions were held hot topics from building learning power to developing co-teaching techniques in your classroom to mastery models of assessment.
There were old timers on the conference presenting scene and there were first timers like me who stepped up to the spotlight to represent their school to share thoughts, ideas and experience with their audience
To fly the Tenby Schools flag, Head of Tenby International School Iain Sallis [old timer presenter ;)] @MrSallisTenby and I presented to middle and senior leaders about the journey we have made over the last year and a half at Tenby International School [KL] specifically about how we have implemented effective CPD for our staff for free.
Our session focused on how a school can achieve outstanding teaching and learning for free. Most of our school actions, structures and policies provide a needs analysis for our actual continuing professional development of our colleagues.
We emphasise coaching staff to improve our competency and capabilities of all colleagues. Through line management, the appraisal process and through any feedback opportunity, we coach. Coaching conversations will always enhance the sharing of school priorities to ensure everyone is heading towards the strategic vision of the school.
Our coaching goes beyond meetings and feedback with our Teaching and Learning Team – our outstanding practitioners – trained up as coaches. Paired up with a colleague to provide supportive feedback through non-judgmental observations and with the ability to provide opportunities for colleagues to observe excellent practice, the team can make a huge difference in the quality of teaching and learning.
Taking on the form of appraisal-based learning walks provides a fantastic opportunity for coaching. Reflection and feedback follow any learning walk with the chance for staff to share their work and teaching developments that may not have been evidenced in the particular lesson seen. This is a supportive process that builds trust and confidence and as a result has improved colleagues commitment to improving their own practice in line with the school vision and action plan.
The Year 11 Class Profile sheets [see booklet or contact me] have had a clear impact on our students progress. Staff are able to monitor and intervene underachieving students in their class. Assessments are questioned and as a result, tightened and data being entered is gaining significant accuracy. Highlighted together with the use of staff data; value added, attitude to learning scores and class performance gave a focus for the Year 11 intervention learning walks. We want the students to understand where they were, where they need to be and how they are going to get there.
Year 11 intervention walks include a member of SLT asking those underachieving students about their current working at grade, how did they know? What recent assessments had taken place? What gaps are there in your knowledge? What is your teacher doing to help you with this? The student’s answers are shared with the member of staff. Depending on the student answers staff may need to improve their feedback mechanisms so that students know exactly what they should be doing.
There is plenty more to share. What has been made clear to me is that all school processes and policies are all interlinked. They all support each other and all work towards the action plan of moving towards outstanding.
Year 1 was the time to reflect on current practice, introduce policies where necessary and present the plan for the future. With the restructure of SLT in place Year 2 has provided the opportunity to improve and develop practices with a higher degree of quality whilst having time dedicated to creating the CPD programme to support the improvements in teaching and learning.
We know it works:
As a case study of all our systems linking together, a member of staff was highlighted through their learning walks, the student and their own staff data that progress wasn’t being made in the teaching, or the learning in their classroom. They weren’t able to access the appraisal targets and so this led to a personal improvement plan. Their appraisal was put on hold and they were provided with more manageable shorter term targets. Together with a subject mentor, a trained coach and appropriate CPD the response from our colleague evidenced through learning walks, talks, student feedback, assessment and the examples of the quality of work has been fantastic. We meet for the next review in another six weeks. It is exciting to think of the potential progress that will have been made once again.
Click here for CPD for Free blog
There is more detail of our non-negotiable directed pathways [lesson study, aspiring leaders, aspiring teaching and teaching and learning team] here.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my role of implementing the whole school CPD. Colleagues are brilliant and just want to improve all the time – as teachers should – the opportunities that have been provided for sharing and collaborating have been snapped up:
- There is more teaching and learning talk happening in departments, on the corridors and in meetings.
- Staff are stepping up to share ideas in our #15MinForums and the #TenbyTeachMeet, the Teaching and Learning Team are modelling excellence in blanket CPD sessions.
- Doors are open with informal, non-judgmental observations for colleagues to see strategies in action.
- Staff feedback is positive. They are inspired by one another and feeling appreciated in their work.
My next task is to gather the data to enable comparisons to be made and to make a judgment of the impact on the quality of the CPD. I can already make suggestions of how to tweak it and make improvements but the hardcore data will tell a true tale.
There is a buzz about teaching and learning here at Tenby and colleagues are, as our Principal Andrew Auster and the Beatles would say ‘getting better all the time.’
I really enjoyed presenting about a topic I’m so passionate about – and we had overwhelming positive feedback from the participants and plenty of requests to go into other schools to share our findings, which I’m organising now.
Our presentation at the conference was an hour. My blog would be far too long if I went into every aspect so if you would like more details or clarification on any part of our CPD for Free that we have at Tenby contact me. We also provided a document with some of the examples on the PowerPoint plus others, if you are interested in receiving a copy please message me or contact me through @MissClokePE.
Please find the PowerPoint presentation here.